Is your teenage daughter on the pill? You might want to read this…

Many teenage girls are put on the oral contraceptive pill in an effort to control heavy or painful periods. However, there are some big concerns around this. From menarche (a girl’s first period) the reproductive system takes 6-8 years to fully develop. For most girls, this means that she will be 20 before her neural…

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Relationship between general health and sperm quality

A study recently examined semen data from 9387 men evaluated for infertility between 1994 and 2011. It showed that there is a direct relationship between men’s general health and sperm quality. Men with diseases of the endocrine, circulatory, genitourinary and integumentary systems all had significantly higher rates of semen abnormalities. Medical director of Fertility Associates…

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Omega-3 fatty acids may help prevent endometriosis

StaceyMissmer, A et al. 2010; 00(0):1-8. Human Reproduction. Most people know about the numerous benefits of eating a diet high in omega-3 fatty acids. In this study, women whose diets were high in omega-3 were 22% less likely to be diagnosed with endometriosis. What’s even more interesting is that women who ate the highest amount…

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Preconception care and pregnancy outcome

Ward, N. Journal of Nutritional & Environmental Medicine, 1995, 5: 205-208. 367 couples took part in a preconception health care programme. Among the couples, 217 (59%) had a previous history of reproductive problems; 136 were infertile, 139 had a history of miscarriages, 11 had a stillborn, 40 were small-for-dates, 15 were low birthweight, 7 were…

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Nonpharmacologic approaches to relieve labour pain and prevent suffering

Simkin & Bolding, Journal of Midwifery & Women’s Health, 2004, 49: 489-504. Adequate evidence of benefit in reducing pain exists for continuous labour support, baths, intradermal water blocks (sterile water injections), and maternal movement and positioning. During my own labour I used heat packs, hot showers and baths, movement and positioning, Calmbirth relaxation techniques and…

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Sperm motility and DNA fragmentation as a cause of recurrent pregnancy loss

Brahem et al., Urology, 2011, 78: 792-796. This study shows that the male partner of a couple who experience recurrent miscarriages have a higher rate of sperm cells with fragmented DNA and significantly poorer sperm motility than control donors with proven fertility. This highlights the importance of both partners following a preconception care plan for…

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Gestational iron deficiency and brain development

Lozoff B. & Georgieff, M. Pediatric Neurology, 2006; 13: 158-165. Iron deficiency is one of the most common mineral deficiencies in pregnant women and infants worldwide. Infants with iron deficiency anaemia test lower in cognitive, motor, social-emotional and neurophysiologic development than comparison group infants. Iron deficiency during gestation and lactation alters neurometabolism, neurotransmitters, myelination, and…

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Effect of cell phone usage on semen analysis in men attending infertility clinic: an observational study

Agarwal A, Deepinder F, Sharma RK et al. Fertil Steril 2008; 89(1): 124-128. This study investigated the effect of mobile/cell phone use on sperm parameters among patients undergoing evaluation at a male infertility clinic in the United States. Three hundred and sixty-one men were divided into four groups according to their self-reported active cell phone…

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Egg comes first says honoured scientist – Professor Peter Gluckman.

April 2, 2014 East & Bays Courier, N.Z. Wednesday 16th January 2008. Professor Peter Gluckman is leading a major international project, involving economists, scientists and public health experts to determine the economic and social costs of an unhealthy start to life. For the past 15 years Dr Gluckman’s team has focused on how early life…

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Effect of in utero and early-life conditions on adult health and disease – Pf. Peter Gluckman.

April 1, 2014 NEJM 2008; 359(1):61-73. In this paper, Dr Gluckman reviewed the long-term influences of in-utero conditions on health. Gluckman agreed that the information passed to the foetus from the mother between conception and weaning “is a summation of maternal nutritional experience, integrating a lifetime of signals from the mother and perhaps even the…

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